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Thunder beat Clippers 109-97 to extend West lead

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2013 at 1:26 am •  Published: January 23, 2013
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Durant keyed a 3-point barrage over the next nearly 4 minutes, making three of them himself while Westbrook added one and Ibaka had another to extend the Thunder's lead to 99-82 — their largest of the game. Three of those 3s came after the Thunder grabbed offensive rebounds.

"I couldn't find a shot early on because they were playing some great defense. They were putting multiple guys on me when I was driving and on pick-and-rolls, so I just tried to take what the defense was giving me and be aggressive," Durant said.

"My shots were falling and my teammates were getting offensive rebounds and kicking it out for 3s. We were getting guys open for 3s. When we're driving and kicking, we're pretty good."

Durant scored on a driving dunk to make it 101-85, then punctuated it by punching his right arm in the air.

The Clippers cut their deficit to 105-97. After Westbrook missed, Griffin raced down court and proceeded to throw the ball into the seats. He bent over with his head in his hands.

Having beaten the Clippers in overtime in November, the Thunder won the season series, with one game remaining on Jan. 22.

"We know we can beat them if we eliminate some of the offensive rebounds and 3-pointers," Matt Barnes said. "We fear nobody."

Oklahoma City pulled away to a 77-61 lead in the third on a 3-pointer by Thabo Sefolosha and a fast break dunk by Westbrook. The Clippers cut it to nine on seven straight points, including four by Crawford, before the Thunder scored the last five points to lead 82-68 going into the fourth.

The Thunder controlled the second, taking their first lead of the game on Kevin Martin's 3-pointer 45 seconds in. That launched a 13-2 run that gave the Thunder a nine-point lead, their largest to that point. Griffin scored the Clippers' final six points to help them close to 49-45 at halftime.

The Clippers led by eight before the Thunder closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 22-all.

NOTES: It was Paul's bobblehead night. ... Clippers F Caron Butler swatted away a shot in the second quarter and the ball hit referee Derek Richardson in the head, knocking him backward to the court. He wasn't hurt. ... The Thunder improved to 2-1 on their season-high six-game trip. ... The Clippers agreed to a 10-year extension of their lease at Staples Center, where they are one of the arena's original tenants. The extension takes effect at the end of this season, and will keep them in the arena through June 2024.